In the purple haze of a crowded concert hall, mayhem begins with the opening song. The nervous pre-show energy in the venue is transformed into a wild beast — hair flies into your mouth, someone stomps on your foot. The tipsy girls behind you are unaware that their raised hands are banging against your head. Someone is crowd surfing, and the heel of their black boot slams squarely against your lip.
It’s insane to ask attendees of any indie rock concert to be polite, but come on.
Maybe I’m getting old. As the years go by, I’ve noticed that at every concert, every venue, every city, there are always those people in the crowd that ruin it for everyone. Sure, it’s nice to bond with your friends and the people around you about how annoying the horrible few are, but that’s about the only silver lining.
There are several things that any concert attendee should do. For one, those with long hair need to tie it. Everyone wants to jump around and get crazy — that’s why you attend in the first place. Putting your hair up will not only spare you from sweaty neck syndrome, but it will also ensure that your hair doesn’t end up caught in someone’s hands or mouth.
A more dangerous hazard is mosh pits. It’s common knowledge that the pit is front center. But every show, there are the ingenious few who decide to mosh all the way to the pit. This can be especially problematic at an all ages show.
For middle school students and their parents, it can be really terrifying having a 200 pound sweaty man pound their way through the crowd. Non-consensual physical harm is NEVER okay, and a concert is no different. Once in the pit, people should be aware of those who have fallen or are injured. Too often the fallen get trampled even more, and these instances can be severely damaging. If you see someone struggling to get up, take a minute to help them out of the pit and then return to the fun fest. I personally have been rescued from the floor of the pit, and it meant the world to me every time.
If the show you’re attending has a bar in the venue, a drink can sound like a great way to dull the claustrophobia at a show. Just be sure to surround yourself with your sober friends, so that if you get too loose, people who you trust can settle you down in a calm manner. While you’re coasting off a buzz, others may be subject to spilled drinks and hands flying at their pack.
Having sober friends around you can help alleviate any arguments that could follow.
Concert etiquette extends to after the show, too. If you plan on meeting the band afterwards, it can provide an amazing chance to meet your heroes and fellow fans. Just be sure to respect others when you finally get a chance to talk to your favorite members. Limit your conversation time depending on how many others are waiting on you.
Finally, understand that after weeks of touring, lifting heavy machines and instruments, and rocking their hearts out, the band members themselves may be tired. Obviously, every post-show experience is unique, so just be mindful of how everyone is feeling.
Following these simple rules will make every concert an amazing experience, for both you and others around you. Dance like an idiot, lose your voice, jump until you can’t feel your feet, and have the best time, all while respecting others. In the words of the band Peace, “Kindness is the New Rock and Roll.”
Opinion editor Wafa Kazmi is a communication sciences and disorders junior and can be reached at [email protected].